What is ECO?
ECO is a scheme that legally requires big energy companies to help domestic consumers install energy efficiency measures in their properties. ECO stands for Energy Company Obligation. It is designed to work together with the Green Deal to offer consumers additional help to improve their property’s energy efficiency.
ECO focuses specifically on vulnerable consumers groups and hard-to-treat homes (where the cost of installing energy saving measures can’t be recovered through savings in energy bills.) The government expects the scheme to help reduce carbon emissions, maintain energy supply security and reduce fuel poverty.
ECO support doesn’t directly go to you as a cash payment. Instead, it is delivered through companies that will assess your existing property, identify and install the most appropriate energy saving measures. The assessment is based on the results of the EPC and added information that is used to calculate the carbon saving.
ECO rules require energy suppliers to help you improve your property’s energy efficiency in three separate areas:
Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation obliges energy companies to concentrate their efforts on improving the energy efficiency of hard-to-treat properties and offer measures that can’t be completely financed by the Green Deal. CERO’s main focus is installing cavity and solid wall insulation. Double-glazing, drought proofing, district heating connections, loft and other insulations measures are also eligible, but only if offered as part of a solid wall insulation or hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation package.
Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO)
This target aims to offer district heating connections and insulation measures to household living on low income. As a sub-target, energy suppliers are required to achieve at least 15% of their Carbon Saving Community Obligation through offering measures to low income and vulnerable families living in rural areas.
Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)
HHCRO is also referred to as ‘Affordable Warmth.’ This target requires energy suppliers to deliver measures that help enable low income and vulnerable households to heat their homes. This includes measures that enable consumers to save on heating, such as replacing old and inefficient boiler, or repairing faulty boiler.
Who is eligible for ECO?
ECO is available to both homeowners and tenants as long as they meet certain requirements.
To be eligible for ECO, you MUST receive one of the following benefits:
- Child Tax Credit (with household income below £15,860)
- Working Tax Credit (with household income below £15,860)
- State Pension Credit
You are also be eligible if you meet one of the following conditions, plus one extra conditions
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- You are receiving Child Tax Credit, which includes a disability or severe disability element
- A disabled child premium
- Enhanced pensioner premium, higher pensioner premium, or Pensioner premium
- Parental responsibility for a child age under 16 or under 20 (if in full time education who ordinarily resides with that parent.)
- Disability premium, severe disability premium, or enhanced disability premium
How much support will I get?
ECO support has no fixed rate. It is up for energy companies to decide how much they will contribute to the energy saving measure they install. However, in general we find that eligible domestic consumers get all or part of the cost the following:
- Loft, cavity and solid wall insulation
- Boiler repairs
- Boiler replacement
These are only some of the possible measures available to you. If you want to see a full list of measures eligible under ECO, you can see the ECO Measures Table here.
How do I apply for ECO?
In order to have energy saving measures installed in your property under ECO, you need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) plus under some schemes you will also need a Green Deal Occupancy Report also, the company installing the energy saving measures will give you the required advice, Energicert can help direct you to a provider.
How can Energicert help?
Energicert is an authorised Green Deal Assessor and we provide domestic consumers EPC and Green Deal Report. We’ve been active in the industry since EPC had been mandatory in 2007. We will be able to provide you more information on how you can apply for ECO and other energy saving funded schemes. If you need more information, just drop us an email or call 07973663604.
You can also contact the Energy Saving Trust for free impartial saving advice.
Energicert carry out EPC and Green Deal Surveys in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, Wetherby, Boston Spa, Leeds and parts of Bradford and York